President Donald Trump hosted Portuguese President Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa at the White House on June 27.
De Sousa’s visit marked the culmination of the first-ever “Month of Portugal” in the United States, a celebration of the Portuguese-American community.
The day before the White House visit, de Sousa visited a Portuguese community in Manassas, Virginia. He was in the United States earlier this month visiting Portuguese communities in Massachusetts and Rhode Island.
“It’s a great honor to have the president, and highly respected, I must say, president of Portugal with us. We have a tremendous relationship with Portugal for a long time, and I would say it’s never been better than it is right now,” Trump told reporters at the White House. “It is a country of great beauty and great people.”
During a brief session with the press, the two presidents spoke about history, the new vacancy on the Supreme Court, and the FIFA World Cup. De Sousa noted with pride that Portuguese soccer player Cristiano Ronaldo is considered the best in the world.
“I’d like to tell you that we have a very long-lasting friendship and partnership that started the moment we recognized you. We were the first neutral country to recognize the United States of America’s independence, although we had as our oldest ally, England,” de Sousa said. “So it was courageous at that time.”
De Sousa said that more than a 1.4 million Portuguese people live in the United States.
“So it’s not just a military, a political, and an economic alliance. It’s more than that,” de Sousa said. “It’s something very human because we’re speaking of 1,400,000 people that they live their love for two countries at the same time.”
After the meeting with Trump, de Sousa was scheduled to attend the “Toast to America” event organized annually by the Portuguese Embassy. The “toast” refers to Portuguese Madeira wine, which the founders of the United States reportedly toasted to celebrate independence.
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